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Inside the Developers Studio: Sarah Stocker

Sarah Stocker's Avatar + Posted by Sarah Stocker on Jul 04, 2007 // Sr. Producer, SCEA

SingStar SingStore

1. What game do you have at E3 this year?
SingStar for the PS3, developed by our Sony London Studio.

2. Tell us more about your game. What’s the story?
SingStar is a competitive singing game that comes packed with two extremely high quality professional-feeling microphones. You and your friends sing along with the authentic songs and videos by chart-topping artists and are scored on your performance based on your pitch. SingStar is developed by the talented folks in our London Studio, lead by Exec Producer and Game Director Paulina Bozek, and has sold over 8 million units worldwide. It’s just an absolute blast to get your friends and family up and singing (and laughing) together with SingStar.

3. Do you have any “firsts” in this game that have never been done before?
The online catalog of the SingStore is definitely a first. There’s no other music-based game that offers you that variety of content and the ability to tailor your experience to your own tastes the way SingStar PS3 does.

4. What did you do on this game that you couldn’t do on another platform?
The huge leap that the PS3 allows for the SingStar Franchise is in customization and community. Because the PS3 is online all the time, for the first time, we can offer the player the ability to pick their own songs from a wide online catalog available through the power of the PlayStation network. Whatever mood you or your friends are in, there’s something for you up there in the hundreds of available songs. You like indie? Go grab some indie. You like 80s? Go get yourself some of that new wave action. The combinations are limitless and the catalog will grow continually over time with fresh new songs and favorite classics coming on line every month.

5. What do you think is the coolest aspect of this game?
Personally, my favorite piece is the community and performance aspects of My SingStar Online. By hooking up the PlayStation Eye or EyeToy, you can capture your singing performance and upload it from your PS3 to My SingStar Online – our global community – where your friends (or the general public if you’re brave enough!) can check it out and, of course, rate it! I’m blown away by the creativity in our Beta tests alone, and I can’t wait to see what players post when we go live. Of course I also plan to leverage this for personal gain and attain international pop stardom with my brilliant renditions of classic arena rock tunes. So rate away – but be aware that any taunts and derision will merely be read by me as thinly veiled statements of envy for my mad singing skills…

6. When is it being released?
SingStar PS3 releases in the fall in the US. In the meantime, hone your skills by picking up one of our great SingStar games for the PS2: SingStar: Rocks! SingStar: Pop, and very soon SingStar: Amped and SingStar:80s. You can get one of them bundled with the mics, then grab standalone versions of the others to expand your collection. One of the great features of the PS2 collection is that you can swap discs in and out on the fly, so you have a seamless experience for lovers of all genres at your own SingStar party.

7. How does this game use the PS Network?
The PS Network makes the SingStore and My SingStar Online possible. We’re able to offer a massive, ever-increasing catalog of content to choose from, and also to host a global community of SingStar players and their user-created content.

8. Describe one of the boss fights in the game?
Me and Associate Producer Ryan Hamlyn singing duets in different octaves. No really…you haven’t lived until you’ve heard this.

9. If you could sit one person in front of your game for an hour, who would it be?
Bono from U2. He is soooooo the SingStar. Actually, I would sit him in front of the plant on my desk for an hour if I thought that would get me time with Bono… Are you reading this Bono? I worship you!

10. What game do you most want an hour to sit in front of yourself (besides your own)?
Lair! Oh wait, that’s mine too… um…let’s see… Little Big Planet, for sure. Army of Two. Oh…and Bioshock (although it may be too scary for me).

11. How many E3’s does E3 2007 mark for you?
I refuse to comment on the grounds that I can’t count that high. Suffice to say that I never missed a one…not even that weird one in Atlanta.

12. Describe the pre-2007 E3 experience in five words or less.
Demos! Videos! Press packs! Oh my!

13. Most over used phrase or expression during E3 season.
“Next-Gen” “HD” and this year… “Downloadable content!”

14. You are asked to make suggestions for an E3 survival kit- what three items HAVE to be included?
Water. Asprin. Ticket to the Sony party (and no, I can’t get you one – please stop calling)

15. What advice would you have for someone who has never experienced E3?
Imagine if you will a sea of exhausted unwashed developers, giddy with gamelust, all bathed in the glow of a thousand million video screens each throbbing with 180 decibels of brain-jamming hard rock riffs and explosion SFX (and the occasional “In a world….” bass montone) and now … let go of that. You missed it. To you it will be like the fabled Summer of Love.

17. Describe what you anticipate from 2007’s newly formatted E3 in five words or less.
Less hearing loss. More bathrooms.

18. What’s your favorite part about developing games for a living?
The brilliant people I have the honor of working with on a daily basis – artists, musicians, designers, programmers, producers, marketing and PR, all of it. I’m stunned by the talent by which I’m surrounded on any given day. That, and the swag… sweeeeeeeeeeet…

//Add Your Own

102 Comments

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1

+ blklacker on July 4th, 2007 at 2:21 pm said:

Looks like a riot, me and my girlfriend are excited about it. We want eye toy!!!!


2

+ GFXology.com on July 4th, 2007 at 2:25 pm said:

” Oh…and Bioshock (although it may be too scary for me). ”

We want Bioshock too. I’m not really into these types of games, but I like the customization and use of the PSN that you are doing.


3

+ blklacker on July 4th, 2007 at 2:25 pm said:

oh, thanks sony for this blog, its so nice to be in the loop. You are taking steps in the right direction. keep them updates/demos coming


4

+ womfalcs3 on July 4th, 2007 at 2:28 pm said:

As long as we can buy a song individually for a fair price, I’m in.

SingStar is an awesome franchise.


5

+ darkiewonder on July 4th, 2007 at 2:30 pm said:

Has it been finalised of what the song and video quality will be? and the pricing. hmm. Hope it’s fair though. Anyways. Can’t wait for Sing Star for the ps3! it’s going to be awesome!


6

+ Makasu on July 4th, 2007 at 2:31 pm said:

I think the comments looked better when they werent italic :)


7

+ limitt_45 on July 4th, 2007 at 2:34 pm said:

sing store will be awsome :D


8

+ self.confessed.cynic on July 4th, 2007 at 2:38 pm said:

Whoa – new font.

Ah well, Singstar – the king of party games. ‘Bout time the PS3 version is coming out.


9

+ Vassago on July 4th, 2007 at 2:39 pm said:

i dont really like this kind of games but i know for the people who like it that will be a hit i think maybe like guitar hero :) keep the great work !!!


10

+ rukusa on July 4th, 2007 at 2:47 pm said:

@Sarah Stocker

I dont know if this a question you can answer. But can you reveal if Singstar will use the Home Trophy system?


11

+ ahh bisto on July 4th, 2007 at 2:55 pm said:

not really a fan of this type of game but i do agree that it would make a great party game and is probably worth buying for that reason alone, the online feature and sing store sound very impressive and i am sure will be a big hit with alot of wannabe pop or rap stars!!!!! maybe someone will grab themself a record deal!!……………….that would sell a million copies alone if you were to offer that as a prize for the most talented singstar player in a online competition, might not have simon cowell but would be great fun and would help you sell the game by the bucket load!!!! i want comission if you use that idea!!!


12

+ ahh bisto on July 4th, 2007 at 2:57 pm said:

thats no joke
!!


13

+ Clover09 on July 4th, 2007 at 2:58 pm said:

I’ll tell you guys right now this is the best party game and for me this is a buy. Good Job.


14

+ Joe on July 4th, 2007 at 3:02 pm said:

I for one can’t wait to buy this game.

I was wondering is there any chance that the Mic could be wireless. I for one would like to see a blue Tooth Mic. So please make the Mic wireless.

Also is there any chance that the songs from past Singstar games will be on PSN so I can buy those songs to sing.

Because there is a Singstar game I would go out and buy now but it only has a few Songs I want and if I could just buy them off of PSN to play on the PS3 version of Singstar I would.

I also was wondering is there any chance you could upload the games from the PS2 version of Singstar to play with the PS3 version or not.

That all being said SS for the PS3 should be great. So I can’t wait to play that game.


15

+ Makasu on July 4th, 2007 at 3:03 pm said:

I think someone forgot the /italic tag :)


16

+ Godofwar55555 on July 4th, 2007 at 3:07 pm said:

Being able to purchase songs and upload your performance videos on the web for everyone to see is a great example of how to fully utilize the PNS. I would of never played a karaokee game, until now. This game looks fun.

[]^XO


17

+ tearsofash on July 4th, 2007 at 3:07 pm said:

This font is ugly. Really ugly.

And on the subject of Singstar and Bono, wouldn’t it be cool if you could do that? Like you could unlock guest singers you could do a duet with or something like that?


18

+ blizzard182 on July 4th, 2007 at 3:17 pm said:

On Topic: Although I am not a big fan of singing, the game looks nice and promising!

Off Topic: Is there something wrong with the Font of the Blog? If you changed anything, my vote is go back.


19

+ TristanMike on July 4th, 2007 at 3:18 pm said:

Great interview. Personally, I love karaoke, but I hate POP music. I really hope there will be a nice sample of ALL types of music. I’d like some of the obscure songs, and not the radio friendly songs. Unfortunately, there have been a very small handful of songs (maybe 5 at best) in the entire SingSong collection that have been released that I liked and would consider singing.

I like bands like Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull, Tool, Yes, Frank Zappa…these are the bands that interest me and I will not be supporting the likes of Britney Spears (no offence to people who like her). I really can’t justify spending 60 bucks for songs I don’t enjoy, and find rather painful to be honest.

Good Luck with SingStar though. :)


20

+ Herby on July 4th, 2007 at 3:23 pm said:

This is definately a buy. I can’t wait to record videos of my wife’s hot friends singing.
My friends and I throw Karaoke parties all the time. The video aspect adds even more to the fun and humiliation.
Sarah wait to you see my version of “One” you will think it is Bono but in a shorter package.

The key price point for the songs is one dollar. Of course they could be lower than a dollar but I don’t know if I can pay more than one dollar. I say that now but who knows.


21

+ careksims on July 4th, 2007 at 3:34 pm said:

Good to hear but Fall is a long ways away ;[


22

+ Solid snakeps3 on July 4th, 2007 at 3:38 pm said:

weird one in Atlanta? I live in Atlanta and its a great city…..best choose your words more carefully sony…


23

+ chase on July 4th, 2007 at 3:42 pm said:

now sony is making progress


24

+ KatanaKing on July 4th, 2007 at 3:43 pm said:

I cant wait for this baby, its a shame its taking so long, we havent even seen any pics of the new Mic’s??? Whats up with that, are there problems with the Bluetooth mics??? I hope the new Eyetoy is also out at around the same time…that would be great.


25

+ Catharz on July 4th, 2007 at 3:48 pm said:

“I like bands like Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull, Tool, Yes, Frank Zappa…these are the bands that interest me and I will not be supporting the likes of Britney Spears (no offence to people who like her). I really can’t justify spending 60 bucks for songs I don’t enjoy, and find rather painful to be honest.”
I couldn’t agree more TristanMike!

I’d like to get some 60s and 70s stuff, along with some of the heavier stuff from the 80s (aka not the dribble most people identify with the 80s).


26

+ Trond on July 4th, 2007 at 3:51 pm said:

Please tell me that there will only be one Singstar for the PS3.
I hate how it is on the PS2.
So anoying having like 5 – 10 songs you like per disc and having to change discs all the time.
So please tell me that I will never have to take out a Singstar disc and put in another one ever again.
That would make this game perfect :)
Thanks.
And bring on Buzz for the PS3 as well :)


27

+ shaunLEGEND on July 4th, 2007 at 4:33 pm said:

yeah the font thing is weird. Notice how even in the interview, everything becomes italicized at question 11. YOU BROKE THE PLAYSTATION BLOG SARAH!

This is the game that I secretly want most (well, I guess it’s not so secret). I believe this is first releasing in August in Europe, so I am hoping “Fall Release” means early September. This game would have been perfect for right now.

Also Trond, I can’t imagine how they could release another SingStar after this because all the songs will be available in the SingStore (think iTunes).

C’mon SCEA, take the US release seriously. I don’t think releasing in late fall amongst Guitar Hero 3 and Rock Band (which also has karaoke) is a very wise decision.


28

+ DocEvils on July 4th, 2007 at 5:10 pm said:

Sony will own E3 w00t w00t!


29

+ Gavi on July 4th, 2007 at 5:30 pm said:

I understand that there’ll be two Singstar packages. One with microphones and one without. Can you tell me if they’ll be wireless microphones?

Also, I don’t live in the US/EU, but I’d love to get a hold of this title. However, since the PS3 is region free for games, I could get this title, but would I need to access the PS store to buy additional songs, or is there going to be an in-game store also?

You should release this game in Asia, they love karoke over here, are there any plans to do so?


30

+ aaquib on July 4th, 2007 at 5:43 pm said:

Looks pretty sweet, but I have a question. Say I purchase a music/music video for Singstar, is it saved to my HDD to access in the XMB?


31

+ GFXology.com on July 4th, 2007 at 5:44 pm said:

Yeah, if you want to fix it put at the end of answer to number 10.


32

+ GFXology.com on July 4th, 2007 at 5:45 pm said:

For some reason it didn’t show what i wrote, but put “


33

+ Andronix on July 4th, 2007 at 5:47 pm said:

I guess this is a game with “cross-market” appeal as my girlfriend really wants me to buy this.

What will be interesting is the ability to record your own videos and maybe have a video chart of the BEST, and WORST , singing from around the world!

Now that would be Game 3.0


34

+ starfoxACEFOX on July 4th, 2007 at 5:53 pm said:

??? I never got into Eye Toy, so this doesn’t help ???


35

+ eurospeed on July 4th, 2007 at 5:58 pm said:

@ shaunLEGEND

I think Sarah’s BioShock comment broke the blog. Odd that it’s the second time a 360 exclusive is mentioned… :/

I agree completely with your release date comment. I wonder why the delay considering it was supposed to be ready for July. Hopefully it isn’t being done to maximize PS2 version sales…


36

+ PS3_123106 on July 4th, 2007 at 6:08 pm said:

Anyone has any idea when DDR for the PS3 is due out?

Great read by the way


37

+ Clinton514 on July 4th, 2007 at 6:09 pm said:

I’m going to be singing like a star. :lol:


38

+ djkearse36 on July 4th, 2007 at 6:20 pm said:

well ok…though not gonna buy singstar


39

+ djkearse36 on July 4th, 2007 at 6:20 pm said:

well ok…though not gonna buy singstar but lair yes!!!!!!did u hear it was Teen!


40

+ Shinogu on July 4th, 2007 at 6:29 pm said:

Please put Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” in the song catalog sometime. Rickroll the PSN ftw!!


41

+ chacal81 on July 4th, 2007 at 6:36 pm said:

Did you say Vanilla Ice?


42

+ Trond on July 4th, 2007 at 6:38 pm said:

shaunLEGEND said: “Also Trond, I can’t imagine how they could release another SingStar after this because all the songs will be available in the SingStore (think iTunes).”

Yes I know but they might give out new ones for offline users.
As long as all the songs on new ones are also on the SingStore then I’m fine with it.

And as aaquib said.
It would be realy cool if you ware able to watch the music videos from the XMB and maybe even have them on the TV in your house in Home :)

Oh and how will this all work when there are many games useing music videos on the PS3 (Singstar, DDR, and others)?
There should be one Store for alle the games that use music videos.
So I dont need to have the same music video on the HDD 3 times for 3 different games.
If the videos are 1080p then 60GB will go away realy fast.
So we should be able to only download the gamedata for the video if we have the video for another game.


43

+ dbarrade on July 4th, 2007 at 6:59 pm said:

They could release another version that lets you mute other instruments, I’d really like one that lets me mute the lead guitar track so I can play real guitar over the top instead of a plastic toy with a few buttons on it. :)

Can’t wait for the PS Eye, this is going to rock!


44

+ dbarrade on July 4th, 2007 at 7:00 pm said:

please bring back the normal text!


45

+ MasterCharged on July 4th, 2007 at 7:21 pm said:

i don’t like those texts. great blog BTW


46

+ Regret on July 4th, 2007 at 7:37 pm said:

Still having fun with SingStar on PS2, love to this game.

BTW, bring previous text-font. Unredable (comments).


47

+ stennex on July 4th, 2007 at 7:55 pm said:

Is this game tied in with HOME. It would be cool that when you win a singing contest you can get a trophie through home. Even broadcast replays of your own singing to your HOME. I hope eventually the eyetoy could be used as well. Maybe within HOME there could be a karaoke night lol. Just thinkout aloud.


48

+ Joe on July 4th, 2007 at 8:38 pm said:

I was wondering if there would be any chance in the SS game for the PS3 that you could turn off the real singer’s voice in the game so you can only hear yours coming out of the TV.

Also it would be nice if you could just sing some times with just the words going across the screen without having to hear any one else voice or seeing any pictures. So this way you can do good old karaoke.


49

+ waddling penguin on July 4th, 2007 at 8:43 pm said:

Great interview post! It’s just so tough waiting through the summer for all these great games to be coming out about the same time in the Fall…which ones am I gonna play? Well, if “Billie Jean” is on the playlist, Sing Star will be sealed in my PS3. World beware.


50

+ TheApprentice on July 4th, 2007 at 8:47 pm said:

This is one of the titles that intrigued me to buy a ps3…

I’ll for sure be getting this…My whole family is excited for it :D

Hope the catalogue features stuff from all sorts of record companies, namely Hollywood Records, Wind-Up etc…
Some of my fave artistes are there…


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